Highlights of Rigathi Gachagua, Martha Karua Debate

  • Kenya Kwanza's deputy presidential candidate Rigathi Gachagua (left) greets Azimio la Umoja's Martha Karua at CUEA on July 19, 2022.
    Kenya Kwanza's deputy presidential candidate Rigathi Gachagua (left) greets Azimio la Umoja's Martha Karua at CUEA on July 19, 2022.
  • The intrigues of the deputy presidential debate pitting Azimio la Umoja's Martha Karua and UDA’'s Rigathi Gachagua, played out at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) on Tuesday, July 19. 

    The debate started at 8 pm - with Gachagua and Karua taking to the podium for a battle of wits and ideologies. 

    The Presidential Debates Committee was hosting the debate alongside its partners - Kenyans.co.ke being among them. Here are the highlights of the debate: 

    Kenya Kwanza's deputy presidential candidate Rigathi Gachagua (left) and Azimio la Umoja's Martha Karua at CUEA on July 19, 2022.
    Kenya Kwanza's deputy presidential candidate Rigathi Gachagua (left) and Azimio la Umoja's Martha Karua at CUEA on July 19, 2022.

    Falling out With the Boss

    The two candidates were questioned on the role of a Deputy President and what would happen in the event that they fell out with their bosses. 

    Gachagua affirmed that the fallout between the incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto, would not occur in the Kenya Kwanza coalition should they form the next government.

    "At no time will Ruto ever punish or mistreat me because he has no reason to. I will support him to be president and he will reciprocate. We are both in agreement that we have no time to disagree in regards to the situation of the country," he stated. 

    Karua, on the other hand, pointed out that there are amicable ways to sort out issues in order to settle differences.

    She maintained that she would serve her role as the principal assistant to the overall leader, as the deputy presidential seat requires of her. 

    "In a situation whereby people have differences, it is imperative that all debates or arguments on issues happen in-house and what is brought to the public must be the agreement on the positions," she noted.

    Karua's resignation

    The Azimio deputy faulted Deputy President William Ruto’s conduct in attacking President Uhuru Kenyatta after their publicised fallout. 

    She noted that in her case, she had opted to respectfully quit her Cabinet position however defended her service record during Mwai Kibaki's regime where she served for six and a half years, affirming that she upheld integrity by tendering her resignation. 

    "I never publicly berated the Government or the President that I served. I just said my hands were tied and I withdrew."

    The Mathira MP, however, faulted her for alienating Kibaki ata time when he needed her. 

    "I don't think it is honourable to be a quitter. I think you must fight from within and pursue hat you intended. My sister Martha quit President Kibaki's regime when the President needed her, when Raila Odinga was making his life impossible for him. Kibaki has been the gentleman of Kenyan politics.

    Organizers at a Gubernatorial debate in a past event
    Organizers at a Gubernatorial debate in a past event

    Uhuru Kenyatta's role

    The question of President Kenyatta's role in Azimio dominated the debate with Gachagua claiming that the Head of state would continue to rule the country through proxy. 

    The Narc Kenya party leader however maintained that president Uhuru's role as chairman would not act without the overall decision of the entire council that she sits. 

    "Uhuru Kenyatta is the chairman of the council but my captain is the overall chairman of Azimio. Jubilee is just one of the 26 political parties. I sit in the council and Kenyatta does not make decisions alone," she affirmed.

    Gachagua’s Billions

    The Mathira MP was challenged on money frozen in his accounts - and questioned on reports that he had promised Nyeri residents that he would throw a huge party once the cash was unfrozen. 

    "I made my money during the reign of president Mwai Kibaki when the economy was thriving. I made over KSh200 million and invested in an account,” the MP stated. 

    Karua, however, noted that the case against Gachagua was with regard to money received from the county governments of Kwale, Nyeri, and Bungoma - but noted that it was upon her opponent to clear his name. 

    The Narc Kenya leader further challenged public officers to make public declarations of their wealth - noting that she was worth Ksh150 million. Gachagua responded by explaining that he was worth Ksh800 million - including the Ksh200 million frozen by the state. 

    “I am not land-hungry and I am not materialistic. Those who are hungry may never understand that,” she stated.

    Kenyatta Family

    Gachagua raised a political storm after he promised to investigate state capture through a commission of inquiry. 

    He proceeded to give the example of a business owned by President Uhuru Kenyatta - upon which he was specifically asked whether he would investigate the Kenyatta family should the Kenya Kwanza government form the next government. 

    The legislator, however, evaded the question- carefully pointing out that the coalition would target the powerful people involved in the state capture.

    "We will not go after anybody, we will go after those who have captured the state and deal with conflict of interest," he noted. 
    The Narc-Kenya party, however, noted that corruption would only be solved through an effective system and government that would hunt down the corruption cartels. 

    Rigathi Gachagua and Martha Karua shake hands
    Rigathi Gachagua and Martha Karua shake hands at CUEA during the Tuesday, July 19, 2022 debate.
    corruption fight